The Colorado House likes the idea of limiting home marijuana grows in residential areas to just 16 plants per household. Prior to that, caregivers and medical marijuana patients could grow as many as 99 plants. The limit on home growth would apply to both medical and recreational marijuana.
The high plant limit that was in place before allowed for illegal crime to take place, according to The Denver Post. Under the new law, caregivers would be able to grow more than the 16-plants per household number if they do so in a properly zoned location that is for large-scale and commercial grows. Governor Hickenlooper wants to tighten up the “gray market” in Colorado, and this is one step in the direction of doing so.
John Jackson, the Greenwood Village Police Chief, said, “Colorado voters did not envision massive, commercial-grade home-grow operations in residential areas and those who maintain that this is in some way permitted by the State Constitution are flat out wrong. The current limit of 99 plants is a massive loophole in our state law that attracts criminal elements from across our nation in search of a quick buck.”
House Bill 1220 passed with bipartisan support in a vote of 55 – 10. Multiple amendments to the bill had to be made for the House to pass this bill. Before the bill becomes law, it has to pass the State Senate and must obtain the Governor’s signature.
If House Bill 1220 does become law, individual cities and towns will be permitted to set their own restrictions via ordinance to impose other home-grow limits. Denver is an example as it only allows 12 plants to be grown in a home.
Other developments in Colorado this week include a preliminary House approval of House Bill 1221 that would allocate $6-million annually for law enforcement to crackdown on illegal grows. The funds would come from marijuana tax revenue.